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Florence aims to be model of Southwest water policy

Posted by   /  November 29, 2019  /  No Comments

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Surrounded by fellow town officials, teachers and seventh graders studying the water cycle, Mayor Tara Walter cuts the ribbon to celebrate the town’s new water recharge area Oct. 15 behind the town’s south wastewater treatment plant.
/Mark Cowling/PinalCentral

By Mark Cowling | PinalCentral

While the county and state fret over dwindling water, the town of Florence has worked creatively in recent years to amass an abundant assured supply, Town Manager Brent Billingsley told the Florence Planning and Zoning Commission.

“Florence is a leader in groundwater management and sustainability among small towns in Arizona,” Billingsley told the commission on Nov. 7.

The town has an assured water supply designation from the state of 15,069 acre-feet per year and is able to provide letters of supply to developers without having to secure outside sources.

The town is also one of the lowest water users per capita in the state, which came out in the town’s water and sewer rate study approximately 18 months ago.

“We pump less than 2,000 acre-feet per year — probably what a farmer uses in a month,” Billingsley told the commission.

The town supplies its customers with water from four high-producing wells. Billingsley continued that the town is on the edge of an aquifer that receives inflow from the Gila River.

Although the Gila’s surface is dry, there’s a river below ground, Billingsley said. “So our water supply is replenished, while Casa Grande, Eloy and Maricopa sit on a lake.”

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  • Published: 1 week ago on November 29, 2019
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